18 Mar 2019

'Hurtful politician' Fraser Anning investigated by police after egging incident

2:44 pm on 18 March 2019

The teenager who smashed an egg on the head of Queensland senator Fraser Anning has spoken of being "tackled by 30 bogans" as Victoria Police says it is investigating the actions of the senator and his supporters as well as those of the teenager.

The moment a young man broke an egg on Australian Senator Fraser Anning's head.

The moment a young man broke an egg on Australian Senator Fraser Anning's head. Photo: Supplied.

Following the Christchurch terror attacks on Friday, Mr Anning released a statement linking them to immigration. He has been condemned by New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

Video footage from a Saturday political event in the Melbourne suburb of Moorabbin appears to show Mr Anning striking the 17-year-old twice after the teenager broke an egg on his head.

Several of Anning's supporters then allegedly tackled the teenager to the ground and restrained him in a chokehold.

Video circulating on social media shows a man holding the teenager in a headlock while a man can be heard telling him: "You are nothing but a weak human f****ing being, you prick."

Police arrested the teenager, took his details and removed him from the venue. He was later released pending further inquiries.

Victoria Police said it was investigating the incident "in its entirety", including Mr Anning's and others' actions.

Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton said Victoria Police would also speak to Australian Federal Police officers who were at the meeting and may have witnessed the incident.

"I instructed that our people examine the whole of that footage with the relevance to whether any assault charges be laid [against] anyone in that footage that may have committed an offence, not only from that first egging incident, but then everything that followed on from that.

"I made it clear last night that if there is any evidence there that would warrant an assault charge that we lay those charges."

A video of the teenager speaking after the incident has been posted to social media.

"Don't egg politicians," the teenager said in the video.

"You'll get tackled by 30 bogans at the same time. I learnt the hard way."

Opposition leader Bill Shorten criticised the teenager on Sunday, telling reporters in Melbourne that egging Mr Anning was "a mug thing to do".

"You don't get your message out by coming up and crunching an egg on someone - it's just stupid.

"You don't want to give this foolish politician, this hurtful politician, any sense of the moral high ground, because he has none."

Mr Shorten was also critical of the way Mr Anning's supporters had restrained the teenager following the egging.

"How many tough extreme right wingers does it take to wrestle with a 17-year-old boy?"

Asked about the incident at a press conference on Sunday, federal Health Minister Greg Hunt said both the teenager and Mr Anning had done "the wrong thing".

Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Saturday announced the Coalition and Labor would pass a motion when Parliament returned next month, censuring Mr Anning for the statement he issued on Friday that linked the Christchurch mosque attacks to immigration.

In Sydney on Sunday, Mr Morrison was asked whether this action against Senator Anning was sufficient.

"I think the full force of the law should be applied to Senator Anning," Mr Morrison said.

The ABC has contacted Senator Anning's office for comment.

A fundraising page set up to collect donations to cover the teenager's legal fees and to buy "more eggs" had raised nearly $40,000 by 10.30am today.

An online petition calling for Mr Anning to be removed from Parliament had garnered more than 1 million signatures.

Change.org executive director Sally Rugg tweeted that the petition was the most popular petition in the site's history.

About 60 people attended the Moorabbin meeting at which Senator Anning spoke.

Almost as many counter-protesters demonstrated outside the meeting.

Far-right agitator Neil Erikson was controlling access to the building.

Last year, Mr Erikson was convicted of inciting serious contempt against Muslims, over a mock beheading he staged in the regional Victorian city of Bendigo in 2015.

Mr Anning was widely criticised in January for flying to Melbourne at taxpayers' expense to attend another far-right protest.

He sits in the Senate as an independent after originally entering Parliament under the One Nation banner as a replacement for Malcolm Roberts, who was disqualified over his dual citizenship.

He later jumped ship from One Nation to Katter's Australian Party, but KAP dumped him from the party over concerns his views on immigration and race were too extreme.

At the last election, he collected 19 first preference votes and has conceded he has "not a lot of chance" of being re-elected to his $200,000-a-year position.

Anning not apologising for Christchurch comments, doubles down on immigration

Mr Anning has reiterated extreme anti-immigration views and refused to apologise for offensive comments he made after the Christchurch terror attack.

In a wide-ranging press conference, the ex-One Nation senator cited Nazis' repeated calls for a ban on Muslim immigration and compared hitting the teenager who egged him to trench warfare.

He has attracted condemnation from across the political divide after issuing a statement within hours of the mosque attacks linking the shootings at two Christchurch mosques to immigration.

Those attacks killed 50 people and have left dozens more injured.

Mr Anning's comments from Friday have prompted a petition, which has so far attracted more than a million signatures, calling for him to be removed from parliament.

"Everyone is entitled to their opinion," he said.

"A million have signed the petition, however quite a lot of people have told us they're happy for me to stay where I'm at."

But he refused to say how many people had offered their support, instead saying it was "quite a lot".

Australian Parliament is unable to expel a politician for their behaviour, but an MP or senator can be expelled if they are convicted of an offence punishable by imprisonment for a year or longer.

The government and opposition will join forces to censure him when parliament resumes next month.